Elliot, 13 – Austin, Texas
Hello! My name is Elliot and I am 13 years old. I use they/them pronouns and am a member of the Youth Voices ambassador program at the It Gets Better Project.
My journey of self-discovery started with TikTok. TikTok helped me learn about LGBTQIA+ identities and that I didn’t have to fit into certain boxes like girl or boy or gay or straight. One thing led to another and, after a lot of internal struggle and trying out different labels and pronouns, I came to the conclusion that I was nonbinary — a gender-non- confirming-not-girl-or-boy person. I also started exploring my sexuality and used labels like pansexual then eventually decided to just use “queer”.
I came out to my parents, who were mostly accepting and supportive, but like me, they had a lot to learn about my identity. Some people, like my grandparents, struggled more — they just couldn’t understand. It was hard to accept, but my journey has made me more confident with myself, which is more important.
I came out openly as queer and nonbinary in 7th grade, which led to an ongoing internal battle with dysphoria and depression. But that struggle also led to me advocating to make my school a safer place for other queer and trans youth.
This summer, my teacher heard that the It Gets Better Project was accepting applications for Youth Voices. They thought I would be a good candidate because of my educational presentations about they/them pronouns and other topics I had discussed the previous year. I am so happy I applied and that I get to be a member of Youth Voices. These other LGBTQ+ kids feel like family to me. We all support each other. We can understand and relate to each other’s experiences. We’re there for each other.
This is the start of what I hope will be a long relationship with the It Gets Better Project. I want to continue on my journey of self-discovery. I want to educate others. And I want to empower and connect with other LGBTQ+ youth.
Each part of my story — and every bit of support along the way — has led up to this moment. I’m hoping you’ll step up and help support LGBTQ+ youth too this holiday season. Make a donation to the It Gets Better Project’s Better Everyday campaign and show young people like me that their story and their journey matter, and that they are important and loved.